L. KENT WOLGAMOTT / Lincoln Journal Star

October 19, 2012

Amy Gore and Her Valentines, “In Love.” Amy Gore injects some pop sugar into her gritty Detroit garage rock on “In Love,” a fine disc full of smart, catchy rock ‘n’ roll.

Gore, who fronted the Gore Gore Girls, has assembled a Detroit rock supergroup as Her Valentines. Guitarist Jackson Smith is the son of Patti and the late Fred ‘Sonic’ Smith of the MC5, plays in the Patti Smith Group and has recorded with the likes of Steve Earle and Elton John. Bassist Leann Banks was in the Von Bondies, the best-in-town rival of the White Stripes.

Appropriately enough for a Detroit band, the first three songs on “In Love” are car tunes — the swinging, ringing “Drivin’ Around” bounces along, the insistent buzz of “Cadillac” “keeps me coming back” and on the power pop ballad, “Just a Dream,” “he’s the car/I’m the driver.”

Then the disc takes off, sliding from acoustic to twangy electric guitar on “I’m Addicted,” cranking up the killer chorus “Static,” the biggest hook on a record full of them, swaggering through the ’60s-drenched “You Won’t Lead Me On” and slowing down for the acoustic/keyboards rooted ballad “Remember Me” before going out on the rockin’ “Diana” and driving “Send Me A Postcard.”

With Gore’s serious hard rock to girl group soft vocals bringing each song fully to life, “In Love” is all killer, no filler. Grade: A

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L. KENT WOLGAMOTT / Lincoln Journal StarJournal Star